Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Feb 16, 2010

Another Knit Poem Project in the UK

I was thrilled to see this photo on the UK Poetry Society Facebook page for the Knit A Poem project in which I participated last year:
See, way up in the upper left is my navy blue on green "B."  It's used as the 'b' in the word 'bread' in the Dylan Thomas poem "In My Craft or Sullen Art." You can read the poem if you scroll down on this page.

There's another knitted poem project coming up fast - this one also in the UK for the Wenlock Poetry Festival at Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England.  I received my chart yesterday.  I'm going to be knitting an "N" this time.  In a radiant golden yellow and a glowing blue.  I've just cast on and done the first row.

Have just found out that they don't expect to have the completed poem for the festival, but do hope to have some of the letters for display.  So there is still time if you want to join in on the fun and need plenty of time to knit.  At this point, I believe you can get a letter assigned if you write to Judith at:

I love these cooperative projects!!

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Feb 13, 2010

Dark Moon / New Moon My Simple Ritual

My word for the year is Focus.
One of the things I'm focusing on is keeping things simple. Sometimes it's as simple as my just wearing the Dark Moon Goddess pendant I made during this moon phase. Keeping myself present and observant of the energy of this time - energy that speaks of doors closing and others opening, great circles, endings becoming beginnings...

Today, though, I'm going to breathe mindfully for a bit. Ground and center.
Light one of my new beeswax candles.
Then I'm going to let something go for the Dark Moon. It may not be something big.
But it will be something that does not serve me well, something I want to be done with. Gone.

Then for the New Moon (which my iTouch MoonPhase app says officially occurs at 9:52 p.m. EST) I'm going to bring something new into my life. Or bring new focus to something that's already in my life but doesn't get enough attention.  It may not be something big.
But it will be something that serves me well, something I want more of.

That's it.
Blessed be.

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Feb 12, 2010

Skew - Knitty Surprise By....

....Lana Holden, my friend & colleague at RiverWools.

I'm most impressed by this pattern - it's unique and interesting, and I love the way Lana writes about it in her introduction:

"...This heel requires neither short rows nor picking up stitches, but it does require a little bit of faith until the origami moment when a short grafted seam transforms an unfamiliarly-shaped object into a finished heel...."

Ahhh...'origami moment'.... a requirement of faith that the heel will surely appear... that is knitting poetry!  

As I wrote in a comment on her blog, I keep thinking the pattern should be called something like The Sock You'll Never Want to Hide in a Shoe.

But no, Skew is a great pattern name.

You can find it  here on Knitty.

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Feb 10, 2010

Snow, Wind, Cold & New Candles

I'm feeling totally blessed that I can declare personal Snow Days and cancel things and stay home on days like these.  We've had snow on and off since Monday (maybe a total of 5-6 inches) and the temps are up and down from the teens to the twenties and the wind is steadily rattling the windows. It's gray and gloomy, too.
This is the view from my front door, looking at Heather's house -- there's a street under there somewhere!

However, inside I'm cozy and warm.  The tea kettle is on and my Verilux Happylight is on, hopefully, mitigating any depressing effects of the lack of sunlight.  What is probably making me feel the most relaxed and happy is that I spent yesterday knitting and working on my weaving contest entry for Not Just Socks.  And thinking about knitting and design and art.

Though it's not like this today, this picture is emblematic of this winter for me.  On sunny days, I open the blinds on our only south-facing window.  Even though it's very cold outside, the sun and the glass conspire to create a spot of brilliant light and warmth.  And, lucky Clover, it's right where Her Spot is located.

This year, for Candlemas and Brigid's Day, I decided to replenish my beeswax candle supply.  I ordered 4 candles for next year's Advent ring, some additional tapers, votives and tea lights. And a 22 oz. jar of raw honey that I couldn't resist trying.

My order arrived today and I don't think I've ever had such an amazingly fragrant stash of beeswax candles.  The website said it would take 1-2 weeks for the order to arrive as it will be hand crafted, and I can believe these were freshly made!

Since I haven't lit one yet or tasted the honey, I can't vouch for the burn or the taste, but I can wholeheartedly recommend the smell! These came from Candlebee Farm, and if thoughts have power, those folks are feeling the delight and joy I had upon opening this package!

I think I'll write them a note in case the thought-power isn't making it down to Kentucky.

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Feb 9, 2010

Begging the Blog's Forgiveness

Normally I don't care for blog posts that bemoan lack of blog posts. Today I'm making an exception to say I'm sorry I haven't spent much time on blogging here because I've mostly been connecting with the world and friends through Facebook.  With the current changes, Facebook has become a worse mess to me than the clutter issues I deal with in my real life space. Ugh! So, neglected blog, I'm begging your forgiveness.  I'd like to make big promises about regular and interesting postings.  But I won't.

One thing I've felt is that I haven't had enough fiber art content here recently, though I am working on several things.
 In January, I worked hard to create an application for the Indiana Arts Council Individual Artists Grant Program.  I was very pleased to have completed it and gotten it in early for a draft review. I received some useful feedback on places where I could make my application stronger.  I took all the advice and got the grant in several days before the deadline. 

Applying for the grant was very useful to me - it forced me to think about my work and the direction I want to go.  I got new insight into my own vision and goals.  Whether or not I get the grant, the process of applying for it was an invaluable experience.

I've asked for the grant in order to buy a portable Saori loom.  I have a picture of it placed where I see it every day. I think it's useful to visualize it, hold the image of it being here in my home.  Here's a picture of it, maybe you can visualize it in my home, too!

And aside from seeing the picture every day, I'm letting go of the grant...I won't hear about it until the end of June. 

Meanwhile, I'm working on some short row pieces and an entry for the Interweave Handwoven "Not Just for Socks!" contest - a challenge to create something woven with sock yarn.  I was actually already working on such a piece when I saw the contest.  We'll see if I can complete it and deem it worthy of entry.  I won't post details about it quite yet, except to say I'm using Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn as the primary yarn, with a little bit of Shibui and Claudia's HandPaint.

I can say no more.

Upcoming also is the 2010 challenge from the International Freeform Crochet Guild.  No clue as to what I'll be doing for that. Deadline is the end of April, so I've got some time to mull it over.

Also, I am taking one of Annie Modesitt's online courses in Combo Knitting.  Just started last week and am finding it an interesting way to understand knitting stitches and am looking forward to learning her method for knitting cables w/o a cable needle.  The monthlong class includes videos, pdf handouts, email correspondence with Annie and 2 live chats a week. 

Finally, I'm immensely excited about Jane Thornley's Inspired Knitter's Club which I joined last month.  So far I've received 2 fat pdf's with wonderful ideas and suggestions for knitting 'free-range.' I know this is going to have some great effects on my work - and there is a wonderful synchronicity, the second installment focuses on rocks and geological inspiration, and I have been working along those lines with my Shaman's Stone pieces.  More in my head than manifested yet, but it's great to have Thornley's ideas to throw into the mix.

Feb 5, 2010

Florist's Daughter or, Peonies! Peonies!

Wrote up this as a note on Facebook and decided to post here as well...

 George-Anna Harbeson, c. 1926

Thought I'd share one of my mom's poems today, in honor of her birthday. She died in 2008. She would have been 87.

She wrote several poems entitled Florist's Daughter. Her father, George Harbeson, was a bookseller, flower farmer, poet and writer of political commentary. He appears over and over in my mother's poetry and prose, in her reminiscences, her stories and longings...right up until her passing.

This poem was printed in the Christian Science Monitor March 26, 1949, when she was 26, about seven years after her father's death.

Florist's Daughter

I was too young to know
The misty blue of iris
Would be forever stamped upon
     my mind,
And the warm colors of peonies
And rainbow rows of tulips
Marching down to meet the sun
Where it sank beyond the silver
     poplar hedge.
I was too young to know
The beauty of the flowers
My father tended would stay
     with me
Through all the years
Like buds unfolding in my mind
Longing for expression,
In cool and petaled words
Yet remaining forever
     as undefinable
As the misty blue of iris.

---George-Anna Harbeson Carter

1934 newspaper ad for my grandfather's Ohio flower farm, found it searching the internet

Previous blog post here, where I wrote about finding a picture of my grandfather I'd never seen before, as well as a little booklet of his poetry.

Feb 1, 2010

Bright Blessings for Imbolc - another poem

My ribbon to be blessed with Brigid's passing is a radiant orange this year...a color of healing and warmth and strength...

My second poem offering is one written by my late mother, whose birthday is February 5. 
She was particularly proud of this poem. It was published in Western Carolina University's art/literary magazine Nomad for 1992.  The poetry juror was Mary Oliver (who also has a poem in this issue.)

Winter Song

On chilly evenings
we three sisters sat
in front of the fireplace
with our father
while he took turns
rocking us and telling stories.
I remember the night
he told my oldest sister
that she reminded him
of the donkey in Aesop's fable
who tried to sit
on his master's lap
like a dog and then he said
she was getting too big to rock
and he wouldn't do it anymore
except with the smaller ones.
I remember how she left
and went out into our big farm
kitchen in the dark
and he found her sobbing,
wiping her wet cheeks
on the linen roller towel
beside the door,
and how he grabbed her
and hustled her back
to the old platform rocker.
holding her on his lap,
he draped her long legs
over the arm of it
and wiped away her tears
with his pocket handkerchief
as he continued to rock and rock.

----George-Anna Harbeson Carter

My mother adored her father and throughout my life I heard her stories of him. I only met him once, in a dream.  I have dozens of letters of his, as well as a big stack of his writing, both published and not. Same with my mother. Posting this poem of Momma's reminds me that I really need to finish editing the book of poems she was working on when she became so ill with Alzheimer's. I promised her.  Calling on Brigid for blessings on this poetry project is probably a wise first step!

May we all have the gifts of poetry, be rocked in the healing warmth of Brigid's fire.
Blessed be.

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